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Extending LCA Methodology for Assessing Liquid Biofuels by Phosphate Resource Depletion and Attributional Land Use/Land Use Change

Keller, Heiko; Rettenmaier, Nils; Fehrenbach, Horst; Hemmen, Marie

Many pathways towards reaching defossilization goals build on a substantially increased production of bio-based products and energy carriers including liquid biofuels. This is, amongst others, limited by land and phosphorous availability. However, it is challenging to adequately capture these limitations in LCA using state-of-the-art LCI and LCIA methods. We propose two new methods to overcome these challenges: (1) attributional land use and land use change (aLULUC) evenly attributes LU-/LUC-related burdens (emissions) occurring in a country to each hectare of cropland used in that country and (2) phosphate rock demand as a stand-alone resource indicator for a finite resource that cannot be replaced. Approach, calculations and used factors are described for both methods, and exemplary results for biofuels are presented. We conclude that both methods can yield additional insight and can support finding solutions for current challenges in agriculture.

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